As excited as our community seems to be for a night game against one of college football’s blue bloods, there is no guarantee that the Sept. 21 Illinois-Nebraska matchup will be sold out.
That’s the word from Illinois associate athletic director Jason Heggemeyer, who runs the school’s ticket office.
“I don’t foresee a sellout as of today, but predicting crowds early in the season can be tough,” Heggemeyer said earlier in the week. “Our fan base is usually a ‘wait and see’-type buyer.”
Nebraska fans will fill a chunk of the seats at Memorial Stadium. The visitors received 2,000 tickets from Illinois.
“But we have been seeing increased activity on the secondary market, which usually means we can expect a good showing from visiting-team fans,” Heggemeyer said.
For its most recent game at Colorado (above), Nebraska fans filled an estimated 70 percent of the Folsom Field seats, according to Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman.
“The easiest way our fans can stop the ‘Sea of Red’ from showing up in our stadium is to buy tickets themselves and fill the stadium up with orange,” Heggemeyer said.
Illinois is offering four tickets to the game for $89.
The last home sellout for the Illini came on Sept. 10, 2016, when 60,670 showed for a game against North Carolina. The last Nebraska appearance at Memorial Stadium, on Sept. 29, 2017, drew 43,058.
On to my weekend recommendations:
“Murder in the Bayou,” 8 p.m., Showtime
The five-part documentary series, based on the book by Ethan Brown, explores the deaths of eight women found near Jennings, La.
“The Green Mile,” 7 p.m., AMC
Tom Hanks stars as Paul Edgecomb, who questions the guilt of convicted murderer John Coffey (the late Michael Clarke Duncan).
“‘Friends’ Forever: 25 Years of Laughter,” 8 p.m., CNN
On the 25th anniversary of the NBC hit comedy, Alisyn Camerota takes a look back at the series and talks to show insiders.